Sunday, September 30, 2007

Five Weeks to Go!

FIVE weeks and counting, and Mike and I leave for Haiti. First we will head to Miami for a day. We have never been there, so I am hoping to grab dinner at a nice Miami restaurant. We also want to be sure to get there in plenty of time before meeting the medical team. We have to catch the plane to Port au Prince and I do not want to miss it! Never can trust O’Hare Airport for on-time departures, and I don’t want to be arriving in Haiti on our own…

We have been collecting tons of medical supplies for the trip. Mike is getting lots of surgical needs from work. I am so pleasantly surprised with all the donations people are offering. It is a wonderful blessing and so refreshing to be a part of it all.

I have also been doing some shopping for the trip. Not for us ~ we’ll wear scrubs most of the week (my favorite days-in-residency outfit!) I have been shopping for the children at the orphanage and JONATHAN! I decided to buy our little boy some new clothes. We recently learned Jonathan will be allowed to stay with us a majority of the trip. So, I thought it would be fun to have some new outfits for the little guy while we are with him. I also have been getting some toys for him. Yes, I hope to be able to bribe him to like us when we first meet with gifts. Maybe he’ll think of us as “those people who give me stuff” and enjoy being together. It’s worth a try anyway!

I am really beginning to get excited about this adventure! I have been reading so much about Haiti and mission trips. I have absolutely no idea what to expect and I am keeping an open mind about it all. I am trying very hard not to create any expectations and take it all for what it is. I know the entire medical part of the trip will be foreign to me, so it’s all going to be a new experience ~~~ a new world, new job, and new son. It is so exciting!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Pumpkin Patch

Kate went on her very first field trip last week. The kindergarten classes went to the Pumpkin Patch after studying pumpkins in school. There was so much to do. There was a corn maze, haunted shed, petting farm, inflatables, a play yard and so much more. Kate loved the blow up slide the best. She wasn't too happy when her teacher made the boys and girls get off after not following the rules. :-O

It was really a fun day. The bus ride was exciting as it was the first time on a school bus for many of the children. Packing a sack lunch was pretty cool. But the best part of all for Kate was having mom on the trip, too! Kate loved having her mom chaperon the group!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Lil' Rahs!

Go Hubs! Tonight was homecoming at Rochelle High School. The girls participated in the half-time show with the high school cheerleaders. They spent some time practicing with the squad this week and worked on a routine for the performance.

The girls had a blast and loved cheerleading. Kate enjoyed seeing some of her High School Preschool teachers and Meg enjoyed learning the moves to the chants. It was so fun watching them out on the field performing. The hard work paid off and the Little Rahs did a great job!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


One night I had a dream.

I was walking along the beach with the Lord,
and across the skies flashed scenes from my life.
In each scene I noticed two sets of "footprints" in the sand.
One was mine, and one was the Lord's.
When the last scene of my life appeared before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand, and to my surprise,
I noticed that many times along the path of my life there was only one set of footprints.
I noticed that it was at the very lowest and saddest of times in my life.

I asked the Lord about it;
"Lord, You said that once I decided to follow You,
You would walk with me all the way,
but I notice that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why You left my side when I needed You most."

The Lord said,"My precious child,
I never left you during your time of trial.
Where you see only one set of footprints,
I was carrying you".

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Home With Jesus!

My grandmother has passed away. She has finally gone home to Jesus. Thank you, Lord, for ending her suffering and pain. I know she is forever happy now living an eternity in Your arms!

When I was praying in bed last night, I humbly asked the Lord to please let my grandmother's life end. I don't usually ask God for favors or ask Him to "do" anything. Typically, I pray seeking guidance. However, last night, I asked Him to please take Grandma. I asked Him to open His doors to heaven and let her come home. I wanted her suffering to end and prayed He would finally take her.

This was at 11:45 last night. After I prayed, I felt a heaviness and tightening in my chest. I eventually relaxed, feeing a strong connection to the Holy Spirit. Usually, I have a very difficult time falling asleep. However, last night I felt as if God was hearing my plea and anwering my prayers. I felt peace take over my heart and I just knew Grandma would be okay. This peace helped me to fall asleep.

I spoke to my Aunt Pat early this morning. She told me Grandma had away passed just before Midnight. I know many will think it's a coincidence. However, as soon as I heard the time Grandma died, I knew my prayers had been answered. God was letting me know I no longer needed to worry as He would take care of her.

Thank You, Jesus, for listening to my prayers! Grandma is forever living in Your glory and Your loving home. I pray for everyone who grieves over the loss of Irene. I pray they will also find peace within their hearts to love You and know Grandma is eternally happy with You!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Welcome, Baby Jacob!!!

One of my dearest friends had her first baby yesterday. Jacob Joseph came into this world in the afternoon on Saturday, September 22, 2007 weighing 7 lbs. and 20 inches long. He is darling, and Mommy Michelle is doing great and proud Daddy Scott couldn’t be happier.

So, after hearing the great news, my dad asked me if I felt old? I immediately responded with’ “No way. You’re only as old as ya feel!” Ya see I grew up babysitting Michelle and her sisters. I was 10 when I started watching the girls and did so all through college. Kellie, Michelle and MariKate were like my little sisters and my second family. They would stay with me on Siblings Weekend at ISU and were all junior bride maids in my wedding. Even my Kate is named after MariKate. These girls have a very special place in my heart! I have memories shared with them I hold dear to me and love them more than words can describe!

Sure, we are all getting older ~ I know by the increasing number of candles on my birthday cake each year. And, yes, it was surreal to watch Michelle and Kellie walk down the isle on their wedding day. And even more heart-warming knowing MariKate is now a nurse helping “fix” children in the ER as I did once for her when she would fall at the park and skin her knee. However, not because they are growing up or I am getting older. Life is full of changes ~ every day new beginnings take place and milestones are met. The experiences don’t make me older ~ just more in awe of the miracle of life and all God graciously blesses us with each day!

Welcome, Baby Jacob! I cannot wait to meet you, little buddy! Michelle and Scott, I couldn’t be happier for the two of you! I pray you have many blessed days filled with joy as you raise your son. Nothing can compare to the feelings of parenthood and I wish you only love, happiness and health for your family! I love you guys!


Thursday, September 20, 2007

The FIVE Musketeers!

These are Kate’s five friends at school she talks about frequently. A couple of them are preschool classmates, but the others are girls she just fell in love with recently. These are definitely the five sweetest little girls in the Kindergarten (and, yes, I am partial!) I am so glad Kate has become friends with each them! (Plus I love their moms, too!) J

Kate just loves kindergarten thoroughly! She can’t say enough about her teacher and just loves the day’s activities. From playing “Shark and Minnow” in P.E. to center time in the classroom, she is having a blast at school and is learning so much. I am so glad she is enjoying school and adjusting so easily to a full day’s schedule. My little girl is growing up and I couldn’t be more proud of her!!!

I love you, Tater Tot!!! xoxo Mommy

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

220... 221, Whatever It Takes!

Remember the 1983 movie Mr. Mom with Michael Keaton? Do you recall the scene when he enters the living room in construction gear and a chainsaw ready to renovate the house. He approaches his wife's boss who asks about the electrical part of the job, "Are you gonna make it all 220?" Mr. Mom, aka Jack, covers up for his less-than-knowledgeable self by telling his wife's boss he will wire the house with "220... 221, whatever it takes!" He was clueless about the electrician work...

That's how I felt today when filling out our first official government form for Jonathan's adoption. CLUELESS! This form is called The Advance Process of Orphan Petition ~ otherwise known as I600a. And more importantly, this form is not to be confused with the I600 form we will fill out at a later date.

So, today as I was working on the paperwork at the computer, my father walked by and asked what I was doing. I couldn't help but relieve some of the stress from the legal mumbo-jumbo and answer him with, "I600a. I600. Whatever it takes!"

Anyway, the form is now complete and ready to submit to the Department of Homeland Security ~ with very special thanks to the parent liaison of Three Angels. I just hope she is not getting too annoyed with my continuous emails of question after question...

I do feel better having completed the form, however. After reading the 4 pages of directions over and over and over again, I began to understand the United States' side of things with international adoption. That in itself, is a big accomplishment. Now I just need to get it all done!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Play With The Big Dogs and You Might Get Bit!!!

Swimmers Take Your Block!

Megan and Tim are beginning swim season next week. This is Meg’s first year as a DeKalb County Swim Team Big Dog. Tim is a veteran of the team as he starts his second season in the doghouse. They are both very excited to start practice and look forward to their first swim meet in October. We had a great experience last season with the team and look forward to another rewarding year at the pool. And, Kate looks forward to all the visits to the concession stands while her big brother and big sister compete! Go Tim and Meg!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Happy Birthday, Little Buddy!

September 15th is Jonathan's birthday ~ today he turned TWO!!! What a blessed day for him!!! To think less than 3 months ago he was very sick and without a family. The Lord is so faithful and He is blessing our little boy everyday with a wonderful home, loving people and strength to good health! Thank you, God!

Happy Birthday, Little Buddy! We cannot wait to meet you and give you birthday wishes in person. November cannot come soon enough. Until then, we pray for you and pray that God continues to bless you, Sweetie!

Many hugs and kisses and lots of LOVE,
Mommy and Daddy

Friday, September 14, 2007

Grandparents' Day

Today was Grandparents' Day at school. Kate was just soooo excited her Papa was going to be visiting her classroom and eating lunch with her in the cafeteria. For the past three years, Kate has tagged along as Papa visited Tim and Meg on Grandparents' Day; however, this year he was going to her kindergarten room visiting HER! She couldn't have been more proud to have her favorite person in the whole world there so she could show him off to her teacher and classmates. It sounds like they had a great time and really enjoyed recess together!

Meg and Tim also had a nice time with Papa. However, at this stage of the game, Grandparents' Day is more about "what Papa is bringing for lunch." After giving Papa individual menus from three different restaurants last night, they all agreed on Mc Donald's. Had they given Dad the sad puppy-dog eyes, I know he would have gone to all three places to get lunch.

Papa is one big push over, for sure!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thank Goodness That's Over!


Back-To-School night was tonight at the children's school. It's a night where all parents are invited to meet the teachers and discuss the curriculum, class rules and all other important details for the school year. It is also the night when PTO desperately pleads for needed volunteers, passes out materials (which I know very well no one reads any of it) and advertises the BIG fundraiser ~ all with a HUGE smile! Being the PTO president again this year, it's the one big event for me to organize. I am sooooo glad it is over. I have spent the last 2 weeks making copies, collating packets and preparing; but now it's done! Yahoo!

So, now it's on to bigger and better things ~~~ BEING A MOM! I have noticed recently that having a third and a fourth grader is way more demanding than last year. There is way more homework, way more studying time and way more stuff to do for school. Not only that, but after school activities have become more demanding. The kids really need to be at sports practice, really shouldn't miss a meeting and really need to keep up with their commitments. So, now it is time for me to step up and keep them going... We are going to be in need of a consistent homework schedule along with fitting in the extra curricular activities.

It's a lot of work! And, I revisited my reoccurring thought today of how BLESSED I am a stay-at-home mom ! They need me and I am so lucky I can be there for them! Everyone who knows me knows I periodically torture myself with the fact that I miss teaching. However, when I think about working, I always come back to the same conclusion that I want to be here for my kids. So, as homework time has increased this school year and we now have 3 kids in after school activities, I am so thankful I am able to take care of their every need whenever they need!

I love my little bambinos and love their busy lives! Well, I don't like all the busyness, but I do love taking care of them!


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Check This Out!

It's been a very busy 2 weeks around here. I haven't had any time to post... If you would like to know something we have been up to, please check out this blog titled Jonathan....

You'll probably be able to guess who his forever family will be....


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Where Is Noah When We Need Him?

So, this is the cabin I have written about so frequently in the blog. Well, it was the cabin a week ago. Believe it or not, the water wasn't even at its highest when these pictures were taken. Ha! With all the rains we have had here recently, the subdivision has been completely under water. Those who live there, were using row boats to get to their cars which were parked up the road.

I am so thankful this is only our weekend home, but feel so bad for those who have to live there each and every day. Seems they have all been making the best of it down there, however. Our neighbor even put his fishing pole in his front yard. The kids got a big kick out of that one. I am pretty sure they had some luck with a good catch there, too!

The house and yard is pretty dried up as of now. We still have some water above the sea wall, but the dock is usable again (too bad our ramp to the dock was destroyed....) We were SOOOO LUCKY the water did not get into the house itself, and only the garage and crawl space will need cleaning from the flood. We did lose our brand new boat lift ~ some think they saw it a down the river a ways under some drifted trees and other collected garbage. Hopefully we will be able to fish it out once the water recedes and salvage something of it. If not, we hope insurance will cover it...
We will be there next weekend pressure washing the garage and deck. So, if anyone wants to come spend some relaxing time away at our cabin, please feel free to come by. I am sure we have plenty of work to share!

Monday, September 3, 2007

A Girlfriend's Devotional

Hebrews 11:6 Without faith no one can please God. Anyone who comes to God must believe that he is real and that he rewards those who truly want to find him.

A little girl went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet. She poured all the change out on the floor and carefully counted it three times, just to be sure. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes. Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and walked the six blocks to the local drug store with the big Red Indian Chief sign above the door.

The little girl walked in, heading for the pharmacy. She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention but he was too busy talking with another man. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good. Finally, she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter.

That did it!

”And what do you want?" the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice. "I'm talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven't seen in ages," he said without waiting for a reply to his question.

"Well, I want to talk to you about my brother," Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone. "He's really, really sick... and I want to buy a miracle."

“I beg your pardon?" said the pharmacist.

The little girl replied, "His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?"

”We don't sell miracles here, little girl. I'm sorry but I can't help you," the pharmacist said in a slightly softer voice.

She persisted, “Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn't enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs."

The pharmacist's brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, "What kind of a miracle does your brother need?"

“I don't know," Tess replied with her eyes welling up. "I just know he's really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy can't pay for it, so I want to use my money".

”How much money do you have?" asked the man from Chicago.

“One dollar and eleven cents," Tess answered barely audibly. "And it's all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to.”

”Well, what a coincidence," smiled the man. "One dollar and eleven cents is the exact price of a miracle for little brothers." He took her money in one hand and grasped the other mitten covered hand, saying, "Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let's see if I have the kind of miracle you need."

That well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, surgeon, specializing in neurosurgery. The operation was completed without charge and it wasn't long until Andrew was home again and doing well. Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place.

The mother said, "That surgery was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost." Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle costs - one dollar and eleven cents - plus the faith of a little child.

Do not be afraid to ask your miracle working God to work a miracle in your life today. Remember that in God’s economy, a miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation of a higher law.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Isaiah 48:17 This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”

Saturday, September 1, 2007

I Love This Man!

~Need I say more? What an awesome person I have been married to for over 15 years! Mike is my rock and my hero; he's my constant and my best friend. Mike is so strong and stable, and I love him dearly. The Lord blessed me completely the day I met him and he became a part of my life!
~Today was such a draining day for me. I spent the entire morning waiting to hear from my aunt about Grandma's condition and situation. Grandma was being evaluated for Hospice, and I was going to bring the kids to see her for the first time she she's fallen so ill. Finally getting word from the hospital, we loaded in the car for the 1 1/2 hour car ride. My emotions were running high as I had no idea what to expect when I would see Grandma. It was 2 days ago she was told she was going to die and I had no idea how she would be taking this when I'd see her.
~On the way there, Mike and I had a great conversation. It has been sooooooo long, way too long, since we have had some time together. He has been working so much recently, we are just keeping are heads above water trying to give him time to rest when he is home. Anyway, the car ride there was wonderful for some "us" time. The girls watched a brand new movie in the car and we talked. We talked about Grandma, about my struggles with her dying, about Haiti, about the flooding at the cabin, about the kids' first days of school, about everything and anything. It was great! Mike was there, he talked and he listened.
~The visit with Grandma went so much better than I ever expected. Her spirits were great and she was having a good day physically. We were able to have some one-on-one time talking about how she really felt and made so much progress after meeting with Hospice. I know God is with her and I know she knows that as well.
~Mike also had a great visit with my grandmother. He listened to what she had to say. When it was his turn to talk, he answered all her questions compassionately. My husband has such an incredible caring and loving side to him so many do not get to see. I am so glad my grandma got to see that side of him! He is so special and so is she!
~Times like these are so difficult. Having a companion to lean on is such a blessing. Mike is such a blessing and I am glad he is my blessing.
~I love you more than the world, Michael. You are such a wonderful person with so much love to share. Thank you once again for being my rock, support and best friend.